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Question for non-outpatient PTs

Discussion in 'Physical Therapy' started by Cwill22, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. Cwill22

    Cwill22 2+ Year Member

    Jul 16, 2013
    I've been accepted to a DPT program and have a concern that I haven't had answered very well. After all my shadowing and volunteer experience I've realized that my favorite setting is inpatient hospital work. I see the perks of outpatient, and see why it's sought after by a lot of therapists; but for whatever reason, I enjoy dealing with those patients in the hospital more...I guess I feel more compassionate towards them.

    My concern is regarding my lack of interest for manual therapy and those technical skills that are required of students to learn while in most programs. I've been so concerned about it that it's caused me to consider entering a different field of health care.

    Don't get me wrong I love PT because of it's low stress as compared to other fields in the health care, and I love the flexibility of the career...but I suppose that graduate school is a big step and I don't want to get into a situation where I'm 1/4 of the way through PT, facing a good bit of debt, and saying to myself "my heart's just not into this".

    Anyone want to weigh in or can relate to what I'm saying here?
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  3. AlanWattsBlues

    AlanWattsBlues 2+ Year Member

    Aug 3, 2013
    I'm in the midst of my third semester now and am basically the other side of the coin. My observations and interest were in the outpatient setting and I really feel no desire to work inpatient. I think you definitely won't be alone in having a specific interest that is only a small part of the whole scope of PT.

    I don't know if I ever came to terms with it...just more suffered through the first couple semesters which were acute care dominant, and now we're talking about things that interest me. I had to remind myself that the PT license would allow me to practice in a variety of settings, the material will be on the licensing exam, and the experience gives me some opportunity to pick up some work that might help me pay the bills in case I get in a financial bind.

    Also, at some point those inpatients will be going off into additional rehab in other settings, and it might be beneficial to have an understanding of the situations your future patients will be heading off to. Just trying to look at the positives....but yeah, it's a pain to get this far in the process and realize that you still need to learn a bunch of stuff that isn't exactly where your passion lies.

    Faculty love to talk about the proverbial student who came in knowing they wanted to do one thing, then went on a clinical rotation and discovered their deep love of some other practice setting. I'm sure it's true, but it always leaves me wondering "what percentage of students came in knowing what interested them and ended up working in that setting?" I'm guessing most. But we all have to deal with the generalist stuff.

    It boggles my mind that each of us had to pass (and likely do well on) physics 2 in order to get into PT school. In addition to learning manips, we need to wrap our heads around power inverters and time dilation? But so it goes.
    Cwill22 likes this.
  4. NewTestament

    NewTestament 7+ Year Member

    Nov 4, 2010
    It's a weed-out class. If you really want to be a PT, then you'll suffer through physics 2.
  5. Julie S

    Julie S Functional monster 2+ Year Member

    Jul 26, 2011
    [quote="Cwill22, post: 14996302, member: 559839"I I don't want to get into a situation where I'm 1/4 of the way through PT, facing a good bit of debt, and saying to myself "my heart's just not into this".

    There are always parts of PT school that a student is not going to like or be passionate about. PT school is a difficult process and part of it does involve paying your dues. To you, that might mean dealing with musculoskeletal even though you know that its not your thing. Is my heart into everything we do in PT school? Absolutely not! My heart is reserved for neuro and pediatrics but I still try to get the most out of everything that we learn.

    And to a certain extent it will all be related (i.e. if you have a stroke patient with hemiplegia her upper extremity, you can get a whole host of shoulder and hand problems that as an inpatient PT you need to deal with). Ultimately, you are going to be a PT for much much longer than you are going to be a PT student and if you are 100% sure that you want to be a PT even if only an inpatient rehab setting, my advice would be to go for it!
    Cwill22 likes this.
  6. Cwill22

    Cwill22 2+ Year Member

    Jul 16, 2013
    thanks for the input. anyone else want to chime in? Anyone who currently has been or is currently a hospitalist?

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